Friday, July 15, 2011

Review of TORN in NY Times Book Review

NYTBR by Jeff Gordinier:

Young’s poems are so fierce and serrated. Like William Carlos Williams, Young is both a poet and a doctor. Those two practices converge with harrowing force in the title poem, “Torn,” an emergency-room account of a young man who’s been beaten and knifed in a gay-bashing incident:

". . . I sat there
for over an hour closing the wound so that each edge
met its opposing match. I wanted him
to be beautiful again."

The poem takes a striking turn at the end, a turn that hints at the kind of hard insight Young surely has access to through his medical work. You can’t help wishing for more of that — and for more of the friction between religion and erotic longing that you find in a poem like “Nature."